Lifelong Sebeka resident David Harry Mattila age 70, died in his sleep on the morning of July 18, 2007 at his rural Sebeka residence. David Harry Mattila was born September 18, 1936. He was the youngest of 9 children born to John William "Willie"...
Lifelong Sebeka resident David Harry Mattila age 70, died in his sleep on the morning of July 18, 2007 at his rural Sebeka residence.
David Harry Mattila was born September 18, 1936. He was the youngest of 9 children born to John William "Willie" Mattila and Esther (Hepola) Mattila. David lived his entire life on the Mattila family homestead in Red Eye Township. David went to district 51 country school through 8th grade and then completed school, graduating from Sebeka High School in 1954. Drafted in 1956, David served 2 years in the Army as a guard at Leavenworth. Upon returning home, David drove milk truck for Carl Anderson. In 1959, he began employment with Wadena County Soil and Water Conservation District. In 1961, he was hired by Wadena County Agriculture Stabilization Conservations Service (Farm Services Agency) serving as the Executive Director for 30 years until his retirement in 1991. David married Arlene (Graf) Mattila of Minneapolis in 1960. They raised 4 children. David and Arlene started Pink Pony Ceramics on the family farm in 1972. They moved the business into Sebeka in 1974. They "retired" from the ceramic business in 1997. David served as the Wadena County Commissioner for the 5th district from 1994 until he decided to retire in 2006. David loved "hobby" farming. At one time that hobby grew to 120+ head of horses.
David was active in 4H, Elks, Vikingland USA (President), DFL, Extension Homemakers, Ceramic Association of Minnesota, International Ceramic Association, Sebeka Civic & Commerce (President), Menahga Civic & Commerce (President), Wadena Chamber of Commerce (President), Wadena County Historical Society, Wadena County Trails Association, Moonlight Trail Riders Saddle Club, Farmers Union, Menahga Conservation Club, Menahga Area Historical Society, United Methodist Church, Masonic Lodge, Sebeka Boosters, Wadena Ag Society, Pathways from Poverty, Cub Scouts, Webelos, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts. David served on the Vikingland Tourism Board, Crow Wing Trails Association (President), United Methodist Church Board, Troop 57 Boy Scout Council, Sebeka Centennial Chairman, Wadena County Fair Board, Wadena County Extension Board, WELP Board Member, Western Minnesota Resource Conservation & Development Board Members, and the Kitchigami Regional Library Board (Chairman). David helped establish the Crow Wing River Wilderness canoe, horse, and snowmobile trails that we all enjoy today. He helped organize Itasca State Park 100 year celebration involving the wagon train from Minneapolis to Itasca State Park. One of David's greatest joys was being a Head Start Volunteer where he was affectionately known as Grandpa Dave. David never met a cup of coffe, or dice box he didn't like. He was always willing to provide you an "opportunity to win" for just about every raffle going on in the area.
David is survived by his wife Arlene (Graf) Mattila, daughters Deborah Hershberger of Wadena, MN; Julie (Walter Lee) Vry of Sebeka, MN; sons Fred (Natalie) Mattila of Moundsview, MN; John (Michele) Mattila of Stacy, MN; 14 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildresn. Sisters Margaret Luckow of Andover, MN; Mary Ellen Luckow of Fridley, MN; Marlene (Harlan) Stoehr of Shoreview, MN; Ester "Kayo" *Mel) Kirchholff of Kenyon, MN; Brother Robert Mattila of Hastings, MN. David was preceded in death by his father John William "Willie" Mattila; mother Esther (Hepola) Mattila, brothers Edward Mattila, John Mattila, and Henry Mattila.
Funeral Services were held at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 25, 2007 at the United Methodit Church with Pastor Loren Ferch officiating. Jayne Koskiniemi served as organist. Tom Ellingson sang "Surely the presence of the Lord," "As the Deer" and "Wind beneath my wings". Congregational hymn was "Hymn of Promise". Honorary Pallbearers were all of his family and all who called him friend. Active Casketbearers were Michael Kirchhoff, Dean Luckow, Rick Luckow, Rod Mattila, Jim Stroschein, Darrell Mattila, Steve Mattila, Mark Kirchholff, Stan Mattila, and Bill Luckow. Berg Nylund American Legion Poast #456 of Sebeka provided Military Honors, Interment was at Mantyla Cemetery.
Arrangements were entrusted to Wevley Funeral Home of Sebeka, MN.